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MEHSOG demands alternative ways of mental health financing

National Executive Council of Mental Health Society of Ghana is calling on

Corporate Ghana and Religious Bodies to consider supporting mental health by contributing to the Mental Health Fund as part of their corporate social responsibility.

 

The Council is convinced that when corporate Ghana supports mental health, the intervention would immensely help raise the standard of living of people with mental illness and their carers.

“Mental Health needs to be consciously included in general health resources development. For instance, we the participants are of the firm opinion that when funds or medicines are being sought from donor or external grant for general health programmes, people in authority should be minded to make mental health an essential part of the agenda,”  it said .

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These were contained in a communique issued in Accra recently at the end of a Stakeholder’s Meeting with the National Executive Council of Mental Health Society of Ghana, to deliberate on alternative ways to financing Community Mental Health in Ghana.

The Meeting was put together by the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) in collaboration with Basic Needs and supported by STAR-Ghana.   It was held on the theme “Ensuring ways and approaches to financing Community Mental Health by duty bearers”:

 

“We the participants, associate ourselves with sections of the Mental Health Law that makes provision for seed money for the Mental Health Fund. Recognizing that Government commitment to resourcing the Mental Health Fund is crucial if we are to witness any improvement in financing Community Mental Healthcare,” the Communique stated.

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Participants want government to employ an efficient public finance system that identifies and target the rich in society and taxing them to subsidize the poor – a case of the healthy section of society subsidizing the sick.

Participants, further request for more encompassing social insurance scheme that includes all mental health conditions be instituted as a matter of urgency to include psychotropic medicines.

They re-echoed the immense stigma and discrimination as well as the neglect of mental health which reflects the paltry allocation of funds usually made to support programmes in the sector; while realizing that persons with mental illness and epilepsy have problems or challenges peculiar to them including socio-cultural barriers and misconceptions which continue to hinder efforts at re-integration of persons with mental illness into communities.

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The communique noted that for speedy socio-economic development, the country needs to harness all human resources including those of stabilized persons with mental illness and epilepsy and their carers adding, “the situation of persons with mental illness and epilepsy and their carers can be better addressed by empowering them and by getting them involved in government and/or donor-funded programmes.

 

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